Calling all homeowners! There is more than one invasive pest this year. The Spotted Lanternfly has been eating away at agricultural commodities, landscapes and Bucks County’s bottom line since 2014 and the spotted lanternfly infestation continues to grow. As of September 2020, there have been over 10,750 sightings in Bucks County alone this year. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture also reports there have been almost 75,000 sightings throughout the Commonwealth to date but these numbers are probably lower than the reality because awareness is lower in non-quarantine areas. We published this blog post earlier this spring when the eggs were hatching but the nymphs are so hard to see. So, we thought it would be best to help you identify the egg masses over the winter.
The Lanternfly Infestation Continues To Grow
We need your help to identify and kill spotted lantern fly egg masses. They are easier to spot when they are adults between July through October. It is much more difficult to see the egg masses, but it might be the best time to reduce the population if we can find them. Ignoring the problem only makes the situation worse. As of May 2020, 26 counties in Pennsylvania are now under quarantine for these Chinese Lantern Flies with Bucks County high on that list. Although Covid-19 dominates our headlines, this destructive, invasive pest requires your attention too.
Spotted Lantern Fly Eggs
If you saw a spotted red lantern fly on your property this season, there is no question that the female lanternflies laid egg masses on your trees, rocks, decks and sheds while they were there.
Each egg mass contains 30-50 eggs that will begin hatching in April. We wanted to make sure you know what to look for.
Download This Red Lantern Fly Checklist to help you search.
The top image is a fresh egg mass left by a female adult. And under that are egg masses that are a few weeks old. As you can see, the older the egg masses get, the more difficult they are to see on the tree.
We reached out to the Spotted Lanternfly Team at Penn State’s Extension to get some insights for this blog post. Here is what our contact there said,
“Even though the adult spotted lanternfly becomes less active in the fall months, we ask people to be vigilant. Please do your part to identify and destroy the egg masses left behind. We will be fighting a new wave of this pest come April when these eggs hatch. If not contained, estimates suggest that the spotted lanternfly can potentially drain Pennsylvania’s economy of at least $324 million annually and cause the loss of agricultural jobs”
Heather Leach, Extension Associate
Where to Look
The adults are very mobile and seem to prefer black walnut trees, red & silver maple trees, willows, oak trees and sumac trees. Although, lantern flies have been found feeding on over 65 different plant species. Only 30% of the egg masses that are found were lower than 8 feet from the ground. We recommend you start at eyesight and then when you see egg masses, know there are often more if you look up.
PLEASE help us keep track of where you find these pesky bugs and egg masses. Click on this SLF Reporting Tool and let the team know where you found them.
What Kills Lantern Flies Best?
Interested in Becoming A Community Champion?
Bucks County Needs You! A community champion is a homeowner that has found a Spotted Lanternfly Infestation on their property. And has a desire to get rid of spotted lanternflies in their community by reaching out to 10 of your neighbors. If you had them, chances are your neighbors have them and those eggs will eventually hatch. If that happens, you will have a bigger problem next year. We can provide you 10 cards that look like this and will help spread awareness to the challenge. Ready yo be our Community Champion? Just click on the card and complete the form.
You must live in Bucks County, south of Doylestown/New Hope for us to send you these cards.
Spotted Lanternfly Treatment
We do offer two chemical treatment options to help you control spotted lantern flies and avoid future infestations. One is a soil injection for trees and the other is a spotted lanternfly spray. The foliar spray program is specific to the September – October egg laying season and the deep root injection process is designed for targeted trees. The roots absorb the insecticide, and the material moves up, through the living parts of the plants and into the canopy. Most of the insecticides we use are recommended by The Penn State team and should only be administered by professionals. Improper use can be harmful to pets, drinking water and healthy vegetation.
Call Us today for a Spotted Lanternfly Evaluation. (215) 860-5066